Lauren Tilley: Still optimistic after all these years

Hey, everyone! My name is Lauren Tilley and I'll be doing some guest blogging for the remainder of the season here at MASNsports.com. I wanted to introduce myself and allow you to get to know me a little bit this week before I start blogging about our woeful Orioles.

I was born in Maryland and lived here for a few years before I moved to Pennsylvania with my mom. The rest of my family lives in Maryland, however, so I would come down every other weekend to visit my dad and family. Around 4 or 5, my father introduced me to the Baltimore Orioles. I didn't know much about baseball but I remember being obsessed with Brady Anderson and of course Cal Ripken Jr.

Every game I went to, I would get a program and attempt to track the game play-by-play on the little score sheet they give you. I'd be successful until the third or fourth inning, when I got bored and lost focus on the game. By 8 or 9, however, those days of losing focus were gone. I refused to take my eyes off the field until the last out was recorded (at this time, the Orioles struggled like they do now so I had hope until the last out that they would win, like I do now). From there, I've been introduced to the other sports, but I don't love any of them like I do baseball and the Orioles.

I'm currently attending the University of Maryland (go Terps!) and will be a sophomore in the fall. I came into college as a special ed major but realized I had to do something with my passion - more like obsession - with sports. So I changed my major to journalism and that's where I am now. I'm trying to get any sports writing experience I can get and MASNsports.com's guest blogging is a great opportunity for me. Not only am I getting experience, I get to write about my favorite team, and write for a great media outlet. As for how I was chosen as a guest blogger, I am currently the lead blogger for the FanSided network's Orioles site. If you want a little taste of my writing, be sure to check it out at www.birdswatcher.com.

I am a diehard, loyal Orioles fan and always will be, even if they never have a winning season again (that day has to be coming soon, doesn't it?). I'm not as optimistic as a fan as I used to be; I've become more of a realist when it comes to this team because they've been bad for so long. At this point in my life as an Orioles fan, you can say I've reached that crisis stage. Watching them lose day after day after day has led to massive weight loss (no longer attending games and chowing down on grub or watching games on my couch and chowing down on grub), statistic addiction (that's the only way to make the team look any good at all), and the loss of contact with friends and family because I'm either in a dark depression repeating over and over "I hate the Orioles" and trying to convince myself that I really do, in fact, hate them, or I'm attending What-to-do-when-the-love-of-your-life-leaves-you Anonymous classes. (However, I've realized everyone else's loves are real people when, in fact, mine is a baseball team).

Right now, I'm just trying to find a happy place and if that doesn't work, I will use this blog to let everyone know it.

Lauren Tilley blogs about the Orioles for Birds Watcher, and her thoughts on the O's appear here as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our site. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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